Viewing entries tagged
reprap

The Makerbot Challenge...

building mendel, fixing extruder

One of the things about Metrix Create:Space that makes me happy is that it has become a hub for DIY 3D printing. We have one of the first 100 makerbots, and we have seen that community grow.  We have built printers from scratch and from kits, and have ripped apart commercial beasts.  Bre Pettis saw his first RepRap Mendel print here. Saturdays are slated for 3D printer topics, and we have a lot of 3D printers that just stop by now and then.  At one point, we had 8 printers printing in the shop.  This week we poured 20+ clonedels, and they’re on their way to help grow the 3D printing community.  It’s hard to say we don’t just breathe this stuff.

Makerbot Industries has issued a challenge, and we are positive that the Seattle Makerbot/Mendel User Group (SMUG) can win.  We know that Makerbot knows there are more bots in Seattle than anywhere else, and we know we’ve seen a lot flow through here.   There are countless school programs, most notably the UW’s Open3DP which are just pushing 3D to the edge.  Washington loves 3D Printing.

If you have a Makerbot (or a Mendel), come down to Metrix on Saturday (March 12th) at 6PM and represent the State of 3D Printing

As a bonus for those of you on the fence, if you print (and bring) a Wade’s Extruder,  I’ll give you a set of titanium springs.

Clone Factory Bootstrapping

pouring a robot printer

As many of you know, we like to take action and move fast on things that excite us.  A couple of weeks ago, Open3DP announced their clonedel process, and we decided that we were going to be the first to jump on board.   I posted that we were going to do a Kickstarter project, and begin building a Distributed Clone Factory.

Unfortunately, Kickstarter didn’t see this project as fitting within their rules (I guess clone factories go on forever) and turned us down.   We moved ahead anyway, and have started ramping up on production of parts and mold kits.

It has been nine days since the github release (the actual open source plates), and we are starting to fill orders for parts today and will be pushing molds out later this week when we get more materials.    We have set up a page with paypal links for those who are interested in getting parts and molds, and just so there is no confusion,  the prices listed are introductory and will last throughout the month of March.   We don’t need Kickstarter, all we need is a project and the will to follow through.  We will continue to fill orders after April, but we’re pricing low to raise money for the shop and another project in the works, so after our initial offer, you can expect prices to go up a little.  Our main focus is not producing products, it is helping you make awesome things.

That said, this project is filling the shop with excitement, because it’s not just rapid prototyping, it is rapid replication on a local level.  With 3D printing and some knowledge (not a lot honestly) of mold making and casting, you can increase your output tenfold.  Push this out to the edge, and we move from centralized mass production to distributed mass production.  

Because we are bootstrapping Reprap with a cloned repstrap, there is no chance of being left behind in a dead fork either.  If your Clonedel is built, you can print an upgrade.  If it isn’t, you can get the latest bits cast.  The iteration time is so short from design to thing that we can actually ship a moving target and nobody gets left behind.

This is the future.

It is in a basement, not a garage.

_DSC5059.JPG_DSC4994.JPG_DSC4972.JPGmetrix clonedel

Saturdays are Makerbot Madness.   If you want to see the future of 3D printing, it’s a good time to come down.    This week, Nick Burrows brought by his bot and his Sarrus Linkage,  It was the first time I’ve seen a real one, and although we have a ton of shop projects already,  I really want one now.    Smooth linear motion with no guide rods.   Pure awesome. The LearnMakeCupcake crew and the RHS TEC club also showed up to work on their makerbots.  LMC is learning to build, tune and use their machine, and Ben is working furiously to build a mendel for as cheap as humanly possible. Ben’s CupcakeStrap is making some good progress, and he showed off his new extruder mod, based on a paxtruder, but with a gigantic stepper from a printer.   It’s amazing what you can scrap together with a little ingenuity and time.  This 3D printer has cost somewhere around $300 so far, witth most of the money sunk into electronics.    Once it is up and running, they’re going to build up a Mendel and scavenge the strap for the parts.  It doesn’t have to be pretty (although I think it’s awesome since it’s made of so much scrap), it just has to work well enough to get them to the next step.    One thing they (or anyone looking to print cheaply) might take a look at is Polypropylene(PE).   Mark Ganter from Open3DP stopped by with a -massive- roll.   He just picked up 50lbs for $1.50/lb (shipped!).    We decided to take a closer look at it on the Shop Mendel because our Wade Extruder will extrude pretty much anything and if it jams, it’s simple to fix. (Thanks Wade!) PP prints best on Polyethylene (we used an Ikea cutting board).   Our first two prints were too hot and fast to produce a good result.   The filament bubbled and separated and had a finish like cottage cheese.  It didn’t stop us though, and by the third print, we were getting a clean but warped part. (this is a mendel circuit-board-spacer-m4_2off for those of you wondering).   All were solid enough to use, and dimensionally correct in hole and spacing. Other than the warp, which we can likely eliminate with heat, the last one didn’t even look bad.  This stuff is strong, printable and dirt cheap.   We were wondering what it was originally produced for to make it so cheap, and I now think I know the magic google words.  11 gauge monofilament horse fencing Be careful with those words though, there’s a lot of horse and deer fencing out there that’s polyamide 6. That means nylon, and as far as I know, that’s untested grounds.    Definitely worth some experimentation at those prices, but a 1000ft spool of fail could also be a result.

Saturdays are Makerbot Madness.   If you want to see the future of 3D printing, it’s a good time to come down.   

This week, Nick Burrows brought by his bot and his Sarrus Linkage,  It was the first time I’ve seen a real one, and although we have a ton of shop projects already,  I really want one now.    Smooth linear motion with no guide rods.   Pure awesome.

The LearnMakeCupcake crew and the RHS TEC club also showed up to work on their makerbots.  LMC is learning to build, tune and use their machine, and Ben is working furiously to build a mendel for as cheap as humanly possible.

nema23 paxtruder

Ben’s CupcakeStrap is making some good progress, and he showed off his new extruder mod, based on a paxtruder, but with a gigantic stepper from a printer.   It’s amazing what you can scrap together with a little ingenuity and time.  This 3D printer has cost somewhere around $300 so far, witth most of the money sunk into electronics.    Once it is up and running, they’re going to build up a Mendel and scavenge the strap for the parts.  It doesn’t have to be pretty (although I think it’s awesome since it’s made of so much scrap), it just has to work well enough to get them to the next step.   

One thing they (or anyone looking to print cheaply) might take a look at is Polypropylene(PE).   Mark Ganter from Open3DP stopped by with a -massive- roll.   He just picked up 50lbs for $1.50/lb (shipped!).    We decided to take a closer look at it on the Shop Mendel because our Wade Extruder will extrude pretty much anything and if it jams, it’s simple to fix. (Thanks Wade!)

PP prints best on Polyethylene (we used an Ikea cutting board).   Our first two prints were too hot and fast to produce a good result.   The filament bubbled and separated and had a finish like cottage cheese.  It didn’t stop us though, and by the third print, we were getting a clean but warped part. (this is a mendel circuit-board-spacer-m4_2off for those of you wondering).

 PP Printing

All were solid enough to use, and dimensionally correct in hole and spacing. Other than the warp, which we can likely eliminate with heat, the last one didn’t even look bad.  This stuff is strong, printable and dirt cheap.   We were wondering what it was originally produced for to make it so cheap, and I now think I know the magic google words. 

11 gauge monofilament horse fencing

Be careful with those words though, there’s a lot of horse and deer fencing out there that’s polyamide 6. That means nylon, and as far as I know, that’s untested grounds.    Definitely worth some experimentation at those prices, but a 1000ft spool of fail could also be a result.

It’s been said there’s more than one way to skin a cat, and although I don’t really feel like making sure that’s true, there’s definitely more than one way to make a reprap mendel.   You can build one out of wood, metal, or load up your Makerbot with these production sleds and start printing.   Mark Ganter over at Open3DP has been interested in 3D Printing for a lot longer than most of us.  He’s a professor at the UW Mechanical Engineering Department, and a friend of the shop since we met at dorkbot.  Being at a University has it’s perks.  They’ve got half a dozen commercial 3D printers, and have been experimenting mostly with materials and alternative recipes for powder based printers This is very interesting, because for us, 3D printing means thermoplastics.  For them, it means plaster, glass and ceramics. As an experiment,  Mark has printed up some mendel pieces for us to check out.  They’re printed with plaster, and infused with epoxy, making them high resolution rock hard purple parts.   They look a bit like they’re carved out of stone, and because the recipe for them is plaster based, they’re incredibly incredibly cheap to make.   They’re not very flexible, but they’re extremely accurate.   I am already positive the bed spring isn’t going to work, but that’s probably OK. Alternatively, Mark has also started a full Mendel build using his commercial FDM printer, with which he has calculated out runtime to be about $30/hr.   Estimated time of build is somewhere around 60-70 hours. To me it sounds like a pretty good way to break the bank, but on the other hand, it will be a standard (albeit high resolution)  ABS build. Once that Mendel is printed however, the ability to produce more drops down to more reasonable levels.   ABS plastic for open source printers costs a little over $10 a pound, and you have a growing pool of materials to pick from.  For a rights managed cartridge, it’s $12 per square inch.  There is a resolution difference, but there is a huge cost difference in the machines as well.   For under $1000, you can have an open source printer, a growing community and access to cheap materials.   If you spend $30,000, you get a little bit more resolution and digital rights managed plastics.   It all depends on what you’re doing of course, but for almost all of us, the choice is pretty obvious.

It’s been said there’s more than one way to skin a cat, and although I don’t really feel like making sure that’s true, there’s definitely more than one way to make a reprap mendel.   You can build one out of wood, metal, or load up your Makerbot with these production sleds and start printing.  

Mark Ganter over at Open3DP has been interested in 3D Printing for a lot longer than most of us.  He’s a professor at the UW Mechanical Engineering Department, and a friend of the shop since we met at dorkbot.  Being at a University has it’s perks.  They’ve got half a dozen commercial 3D printers, and have been experimenting mostly with materials and alternative recipes for powder based printers

This is very interesting, because for us, 3D printing means thermoplastics.  For them, it means plaster, glass and ceramics.

As an experiment,  Mark has printed up some mendel pieces for us to check out.  They’re printed with plaster, and infused with epoxy, making them high resolution rock hard purple parts.   They look a bit like they’re carved out of stone, and because the recipe for them is plaster based, they’re incredibly incredibly cheap to make.   They’re not very flexible, but they’re extremely accurate.   I am already positive the bed spring isn’t going to work, but that’s probably OK.

Alternatively, Mark has also started a full Mendel build using his commercial FDM printer, with which he has calculated out runtime to be about $30/hr.   Estimated time of build is somewhere around 60-70 hours. To me it sounds like a pretty good way to break the bank, but on the other hand, it will be a standard (albeit high resolution)  ABS build.

Once that Mendel is printed however, the ability to produce more drops down to more reasonable levels.   ABS plastic for open source printers costs a little over $10 a pound, and you have a growing pool of materials to pick from.  For a rights managed cartridge, it’s $12 per square inch.  There is a resolution difference, but there is a huge cost difference in the machines as well.   For under $1000, you can have an open source printer, a growing community and access to cheap materials.   If you spend $30,000, you get a little bit more resolution and digital rights managed plastics.   It all depends on what you’re doing of course, but for almost all of us, the choice is pretty obvious.

It’s nice when a shop project comes together…   Today we printed some test objects on the Reprap Mendel, our new 3D Printer, which we printed on our Makerbots.    Things still need some fine tuning before we can make it start self-replicating, but we should be announcing mendel parts kits shortly so you can jump into the recursive robot revolution. If you’re keeping score,  this is the 4th bot in Seattle that’s gone live (that we know of) this week.   Shouts out to Humblefactory, LearnMakeCupcake, and the UW Mechanical Engineering’s Open3DP!

It’s nice when a shop project comes together…   Today we printed some test objects on the Reprap Mendel, our new 3D Printer, which we printed on our Makerbots.    Things still need some fine tuning before we can make it start self-replicating, but we should be announcing mendel parts kits shortly so you can jump into the recursive robot revolution.

If you’re keeping score,  this is the 4th bot in Seattle that’s gone live (that we know of) this week.   Shouts out to Humblefactory, LearnMakeCupcake, and the UW Mechanical Engineering’s Open3DP!